The Iowa Farm Buereau Federation is donating one-million dollars to IowaState University for the new 4-H building. The program helps teach thousandsof Iowa kids about agriculture. Farm Bureau Executive Director Dick Harrissays the gift is important in helping ensure the future of the 4-H program.Harris says 4-H helps kids who live in the country and the city.The new building is projected to cost three-point-five million dollars.
Archives for October 1999
For the third weekend in a row, a major building is being dedicated at IowaState University. This morning, it’s the National Swine Research andInformation Center. Ceremonies begin at 8:30 with a breakfast and toursfollowed by a program at 9:30. I-S-U Ag College Dean David Topel says thebuilding is a beauty and will be widely used for pork industry research.Dean Topel says the facility will also be used for researching water qualityand odor issues as they relate to livestock. He says many of the functionsof the new building are already being performed elsewhere at I-S-U but hesays this 9-point-6 million dollar facility will put it all under one roof.In light of the latest dedication, Topel says it’s been a great fall at IowaState.Last weekend the new engineering building, Howe Hall, was dedicated atI-S-U. Back on the 16th of October, it was the new Plant Sciences InstituteResearch Center.
Two people wanted as material witnesses in the Des Moines stabbing death ofan Iowa Public T-V worker were arrested in the Quad Cities. 33-year-old Lora England, an exotic dancer, was arrested in a Bettendorfmotel yesterday for questioning in the murder. Kenneth Pruitt, also 33, wasalso taken into custody at the hotel. Patrick McRae was found dead on hisporch in Des Moines October 18th.
Nearly 200 health care professionals from the around the state are in DesMoines today to talk about “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Iowa’s seen adramatic increase in “SIDS” deaths. It strikes seemingly healthy babiesunder one-year old. Dr. Herman Hein is a special consultant on the problemfor the Iowa Department of Public Health. Hein says he doesn’t know whythere’s been a dramatic increase in SIDS deaths, but says in most casesthey’re preventable. Hein says parents may be getting complacent about SIDSbecause there hasn’t been any major awareness campaign in awhile.Hein says he would love to have a large grant to put together a publicawareness campaign on the problem. He says smoking and improper sleepingpositions contribute to SIDS deaths, but research continues to try and findthe cause.Approximately 40 babies have died of SIDS this year in Iowa compared to atotal of 25 such deaths in the last two years combined.
Iowa’s Secretary of State is trying to get people pumped up for the upcomingelections. Chet Culver is traveling the state and promoting the “Get Out andVote” program.Culver is also Commissioner of Elections and is the only statewide officialspecifically charged with encouraging voter turnout. He’s trying to raiseawareness about the issue and says there is growing apathy about voting.Culver notes several municipal races have no candidates competing.Culver is preparing to take the state to a new level of voting byexperimenting with the internet next month. Voters in Woodbury and Johnsoncounties will be able to cast their ballots via computer from their regularpolling places — and perhaps eventually from any p-c.The pilot project for internet voting will be evalutated after next month’selections.
The head of an organization for Iowa small businesses says there’s nothingRepublicans in Congress can do to “sugarcoat” a minimum wage increase. Congress soon will debate an increase in the minimum wage, but the bill hasabout 100-million dollars in tax cuts. David Brasher (bray’-shur) is theIowa director for the National Federation of Independent Business.Brasher says his group always has and always will oppose government-mandatedstarting wage levels.Iowa’s labor market is so tight, most employers are forced to offer hourlywages above the minimum wage to attract and keep workers. Brasher(bray’-shur) says while his group is opposed to the minimum wage increase,small businessmen and women aren’t bombarding Iowa’s Congressionaldelegation with letters and phone calls. The minimum wage is presently five-dollars-and-15 cents an hour.
Iowa men’s basketball coach Steve Alford says he still hasn’t settled on alineup yet with the first exhibition game coming up Sunday. Alford is in his first year and he says he plans to play everyone regardlessof who starts.Alford says he doesn’t have time to teach the team everything he wants tobefore their first game with the University of Connecticut.He says he’s pleased with the effort shown in practice.Iowa plays the World Basketball All-Stars Sunday in their first exhibitiongame.
Governor Tom Vilsack says the millions of dollars Iowa will get from thefederal tobacco settlement provide a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Iowa toinvest in its health care system. Speaking to Iowa Rural Health Associationmembers, Vilsack said he wants to use the money to build a world-classhealth care system.Vilsack says lower-than-expected tax collections for the state will lead toa big fight in the state legislature this year over how to spend the tobaccomoney.Vilsack says it would be a tragic mistake to put the tobacco money in thestate’s budget, rather than identify specific ways to spend it.Iowa’s first tobacco settlement payment of 75-million dollars is expected toarrive at the end of the summer.
A conservative association representing Iowa teachers, administrators andsupport staff has released a survey of members on current political topics. The survey of members of the Professional Educators of Iowa shows educatorswant to improve the way kids act in public schools.P-E-I State Director Jim Hawkins says members overwhelmingly said they facetoo much paperwork and aren’t in favor of making the school day or schoolyear longer. Hawkins says members also believe the schools that trainteachers should face increased standards for the teachers they turn out. Hawkins says a majority of those surveyed believe the U-S Department ofEducation isn’t doing the job it should.On another controversial topic, 75-percent said they favored displaying theTen Commandments in schools. Hawkins says 311 of the association’s 14-hundredmemnbers responded to the survey. Hawkins says P-E-I was formed as a bipartisanalternative to the Iowa State Education Association, which is the largeststate teacher’s union.
A Mason City business owner is threatening to file a lawsuit against twocement plants for pollution she suspects is dangerous to her health. The IowaDepartment of Natural Resources is investigating high emissions from twocement plants on the north side of Mason City. Kathy Frank says she wantssomething done. She says they don’t want to sue, but have tried everythingelse without results.Frank says the health of the neighborhood is at stake.She says city officials need to worry about health issues rather losing taxmoney from shutting down the cement plants.Frank says she doesn’t want to see either company shut down. A meeting willbe held November 11th to discuss whether legal action can be taken.